Study: Tough Times Ahead for Rental Market

While there appears to be an excess in rental housing presently, renters will likely find a very challenging rental market in the months ahead as vacancy rates vanish and rents rise, warns The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies in its latest report on America’s rental housing.

Contributing to the challenge, a dwindling number of multifamily units are being built. Typically, the development of new multifamily housing needs plenty of lead time too. Therefore, as more people opt to rent, vacancy rates will continue to disappear, which will cause rents to rise.

Owners and investors of rental housing stand to profit in the coming months from the tightening rental market. But for renters, they’ll find the rental market increasingly challenging, the study says.

Single-family home foreclosures may help relieve some of the pressure in the rental market, according to the study. With the number of foreclosures skyrocketing, some of these single-family home foreclosures may add to the number of rental units and even help stabilize distressed neighborhoods that have been badly hit by the foreclosure crisis, the study says.

Source: “Harvard Study Warns of Rent Bubble,” RISMedia (June 2, 2011)

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